Senate to prioritize revision of Armm charter in 16th Congress-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
MANILA -- Senator Franklin Drilon said the 16th Congress should work on a bill that will amend the charter of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) based on the framework peace agreement signed last October by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government.
"[T]he framework agreement and the peace agreement that we will sign will require extensive amendments, an overhaul of the Armm charter. That will be the major work at least for the first year of the next Congress (starting in late July)," he said in an interview on Thursday.
Malacañang has yet to release the names of members of the 15-man Bangsamoro Transition Commission tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will be certified as urgent by President Benigno Aquino III and submitted to Congress for passage.
It will then undergo a plebiscite in the proposed expanded Armm territory set to be called Bangsamoro. If the law is ratified by residents, the 24-year-old Armm is deemed abolished.
Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles said last week the government nominees to the TransCom will soon be submitted to the President. The MILF named its eight nominees during the 35th Formal Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 21.
"Very soon we'll have the members of the Transition Commission announced and duly appointed, and they can start working together on their mandate," said government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.
Meanwhile, Drilon congratulated his colleagues for reaching "heights" in the 15th Congress, which adjourned last Wednesday to give way for the three-month campaign period.
Among others, Drilon cited the enactment of the sin tax reform bill and the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona as achievements that were not matched by previous Congresses.
"Unfortunately, that honor, we must admit, was tarnished by the squabbles that happened by the end of this Congress. But I am confident that as an institution, we will be able to recover," he said, referring to the recent squabble between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and the minority senators over the alleged unfair distribution of additional funds late last year. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)